Dev Watercooler – Stat Updates for Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard just released a new blog about the update of the new stats and how they will work for Warlords of Draenor.

Dev Watercooler – Stat Updates for Warlords of Draenor

In this Dev Watercooler, we’d like to give an update on secondary and minor stats in Warlords of Draenor. A lot has changed since we first revealed our plans at BlizzCon, so this blog will not only cover the latest developments related to what we’ve already discussed, but also go into detail on some new changes we’ve got in the pipe.

Secondary Stats

Existing Secondary Stats: Hit, Expertise, Dodge, Parry, Crit, Mastery, Haste, Spirit

As we announced at BlizzCon, we’re retiring Hit, Expertise, Dodge, and Parry. Hit and Expertise weren’t really providing very interesting gameplay, and Dodge and Parry are being replaced with Bonus Armor. Check out thePatch Notes for further discussion on why we removed these stats.

The other secondary stats—Crit, Mastery, Haste, and Spirit—work well and will be sticking around. One important note is that Spirit will only appear on items for specific slots (fingers, neck, back, and trinkets) and will give a much stronger benefit than it does today. Healers will prefer items with Spirit for those slots, but otherwise will use similar gear to everyone else.

New Stat: Multistrike
A new stat in Warlords of Draenor, Multistrike grants your spells, abilities, and auto-attacks additional chances to activate. If you’ve been following along since BlizzCon, you may remember that in our early plans, your Multistrike chance would split between two rolls and effectively have a 200% cap. We’ve since changed that to make it more clear and intuitive: the full chance is given to both rolls, with a 100% cap.

Now Multistrike grants your spells, abilities, and auto-attacks the chance to activate up to two extra times at 30% of normal effectiveness. For example, if you have 55% Multistrike and cast a Fireball that does 1000–1100 damage, you’ll have two separate 55% chances to automatically follow with another smaller Fireball that does 300–330 damage. That means every time you cast Fireball, you have a chance to see one big-damage Fireball, and then two smaller-damage Fireballs leave your hands in quick succession.

New Stat: Bonus Armor
Throughout the game’s history, some items have had bonus armor on them, which made them more attractive to tanks. After we removed Dodge and Parry, we wanted to replace these stats with a new tank-specific stat, and Bonus Armor fit the bill nicely. As with Spirit, it’ll only show up on rings, necklaces, cloaks, and trinkets. It’s clearly valuable to all tanks, and will be tuned to be much stronger than other secondary stats. Tanks will want to use items with Bonus Armor for those slots.

Retiring Stat: Amplify

We tried out Amplify on trinkets in Siege of Orgrimmar, and at BlizzCon we announced that it’d be a stat in Warlords of Draenor. The intent of Amplify was to multiply the effects of your other secondary stats. However, as we continued development, we found that Amplify had some design problems. In particular, we determined that it would quickly become the absolute best stat for everyone. On top of that, even if we were to apply heavy diminishing returns, the stat still wouldn’t have an interesting effect on your gameplay. For those reasons, it’s no longer going to be a stat in Warlords of Draenor.

Retiring Stat: Readiness

Readiness was another stat that we tried out on Siege of Orgrimmar trinkets. This one looked solid at first. Cooldown reduction is a great concept, the idea was well received, and although there were some balance issues, they seemed solvable. However, as we continued development, we hit a snag. Readiness works great in small quantities on the scale of a trinket or two, like in Siege of Orgrimmar. However, when we expand that to a point where you could potentially have Readiness on all of your character’s gear, problems arise.

Using a damage-dealing (DPS) class as an example, most of the stat’s value comes in letting you use your temporary burst-damage cooldowns (Arcane Power, Vendetta, Recklessness, Dark Soul, etc.) more often. Most of those cooldowns increase damage by 20%–30% while active, which is substantial for a temporary burst ability, but doesn’t compare well against secondary stats. If you stack a lot of Crit and can reach 30% Crit from gear, that’s more or less a 30% passive increase to damage. If secondary stats are equal, you should be able to stack Readiness instead, and get a damage increase that’s similar (or at least close). But how do we give you a 30% damage increase from letting you use a +20% damage cooldown more often? And once you get to 100% uptime, then what?

We experimented with many potential design changes but never found a version of Readiness that really felt good, so we’re going to shelve it for now, at least as a common secondary stat. You may still see it pop up occasionally in small quantities, such as on a trinket.

New Stat: Versatility

The removal of Readiness left some space in our itemization plans and room for another stat to take its place. It’s important to offer players plenty of different secondary stats so that you have a wide variety of interesting and compelling gear to choose from. To that end, we’ve been working on a new secondary stat called Versatility. Versatility is pretty simple: 1% Versatility grants a 1% increase to your damage, healing, and absorbs, and reduces the damage you take by 0.5%. It’s a straightforward, obvious upgrade to your primary role’s performance, but also gives significant boosts to secondary role performance and survivability. The healing increase it provides does work on self-heals, such as Recuperate, for example. We won’t be tuning it to be anyone’s highest throughput secondary stat, but it’ll be close, and it’ll give you a nice boost to how versatile your character is in the process. It’ll be especially attractive to hybrids who want to feel more “hybridy.”

Minor Stats

Most gear that drops in Warlords of Draenor has a chance to have a random bonus in addition to its normal stats. We call these “minor stats,” and they provide a small but useful bonus to your character.

New Minor Stat: Movement Speed
The first of our minor stats is Movement Speed, which, as you can probably guess, increases the speed that you move by a small amount. Previously, movement speed increases came from enchants and various class abilities, but otherwise never directly came from gear. The Movement Speed minor stat will stack with all other sources of movement speed, but we’ll be keeping the maximum benefit you can get from it fairly low—we want it to feel like a fun bonus when you get it, but not a large increase to character power.

New Minor Stat: Avoidance
Another minor stat, Avoidance, has previously only ever been used for a few prominent class pets. It reduces the damage you take from area-of-effect (AoE) attacks, though compared to the pet version, the Avoidance minor stat will come in much smaller quantities. The goal is to soften the blow of AoE attacks a bit, but not allow you to just stand in the fire.

New Minor Stat: Indestructible (previously Sturdiness)
We called this one Sturdiness when we announced it at BlizzCon, and its original effect reduced durability damage that you take by a small amount across your whole character. Since then, we’ve renamed it Indestructible, and changed it to cause that specific item to not take any durability damage. We think the change will make the stat more intuitive while providing a similar overall benefit.

New Minor Stat: Leech (previously Lifesteel)
Lifesteal is another minor stat that has been renamed and slightly redesigned since BlizzCon. Our original plan was for it to convert a percentage of your damage done to self-healing. We’ve extended it to work for healers as well, causing an extra percentage of all of the healing you do to heal you as well. With that change, the name was no longer fitting, so we’re renaming it Leech.

Proposed Minor Stat: Cleave
We announced Cleave as a minor stat at BlizzCon, but have since run into some problems with it. Most importantly, it was of situational value to DPS classes, always valuable to healers, and had very little value to tanks. As a result, we were concerned it would cause items that would otherwise be equally appropriate for a healer and a DPS class to be viewed as “healer gear,” which isn’t our intent. We’ve shelved it for now, though we have some ideas about how it might show up occasionally in specific cases.The Complete List
In summary, here’s a complete list of our planned secondary and minor stats in Warlords of Draenor:

  • Secondary Stats
    • Haste: (Unchanged) Increases attack speed, spell casting speed, and some resource generation
    • Critical Strike: (Unchanged) Increases your chance to critically strike, dealing double damage
    • Mastery: (Unchanged) Increases the effectiveness of your specialization-specific Mastery
    • Multistrike: (New) Grants two chances for your damage and healing effects to fire an additional time, each at 30% effectiveness
    • Versatility: (New) Increases damage and healing, and reduces damage taken
    • Spirit: (Unchanged, healer-only) Increases mana regeneration rate
    • Bonus Armor: (New, tank-only) Increases your armor
  • Minor Stats
    • Movement Speed: (New) Increases your movement speed
    • Indestructible: (New) Causes the item to not take durability damage
    • Leech: (New) Causes you to be healed for a portion of all damage and healing done
    • Avoidance: (New) Reduces your damage taken from area-of-effect attacks.

As you can see, we have a lot of exciting changes and additions in the works designed to give you a variety of intuitive and interesting gearing options. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how these are playing out in our alpha and beta testing, and we’ll continue to refine and adjust as needed. As always, we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback!


Benjamin Vogt

French Editor working for the World of Warcraft section of Blizzplanet since March 2014.

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